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Jack - Is the field with the IA/RB site under the plough??
vulpes Wrote:It's true, you do mention SMC briefly much further down in that section but your first line is pretty general in emphasis. Let's put it down to a misunderstanding and agree that PPS5 guidance suggests that applicants and local planning authorities will need to - 'seek to eradicate or minimise impact through design'(i.e. PARIS) in the case of scheduled monuments. As for the rest of archaeological sites.... well, it will be up to people to make their case.

Sorry, didn't mean to push it, I didn't see your earlier post and I'm happy to agree and to leave it, cus I 'm sure one day we'll probably meet at a conference or suchlike and we really don't want to spend valuable drinking time sniping at each other. Also, nice bit of debating, I'm glad to see some passion in an argument.

Yes, preservation by not developing like your example is an option. As for the planning issues one possible solution as Vulpes suggested is use of an article 4 direction that suspends permitted development rights. This can work but enforcing it is very difficult as many people are blissfully unaware that they are not allowed to dig drainage or build walls, so in reality this can just be a paper solution. We have discussed monitoring at PARIS conferences but the main problem is that once, for example, a Tescos has been built and 5 years later the monitoring shows severe drying out of a waterlogged deposit what can really be done? Excavations pretty much out of the question and trying to mitigate through water management is like trying to plug an oil well with golf balls!

Of course it also depends on the nature of the development as some more industrial type development can be much easer to control after permission has been granted through article 4 and similar mechanisms. However, I'm not sure that economics should be a defining factor unless under circumstances such as you describe.

Indeed I am so glad there is a debate and discussion going on... as for the life of me... this seems to be it... can't see it happening anywhere else where people can 'see' whats happening.

It looks as if the potential perils can be flagged here for people to be aware of.
Golf balls! ha! i nearly cried. no really...but then this was to be expected after the sight, like a vision from the Victorian past, of tiny men on ropes, hurriedly welding up a MASSIVE iron box, then dropping it in the sea...couldn't they have thought about such a marvellous and revolutionary device in advance? know, just in case

......perhaps they had a nice stock pile of golfballs, shredded tyres and "heavy mud" prepared for just such an eventuality as Failure of Plan A (ie Drop MASSIVE Box in sea)..?

As every where, this enormous catastrophe shows how 'Economics' has fucked us, and our future descendent, all.

Preservation in situ is clearly meaningless if it results in the future inaccessibility of the site (e.g. under motorways/rafted multi-storey concrete base plates) - or if the remains are left in splendid isolation from their surrounding context.....equally preservation by record is meanigless if the records are poor or of limited future potential; if the original field investigation has been under resourced, or lead badly....

Either way records or actual remains must be Curated by a profession and by experts who are Informed, Assured and Empowered enough to act genuinely in the best interests of the future cultural knowledge and society at large.
Unionisation and an ambitious Charter for the future are an obvious route towards this end.

Legislation may only set the rules - archaeologists must play a good Team Game to win...
vulpes Wrote:Jack - Is the field with the IA/RB site under the plough??
Not at the time, Not sure whats happened to it now, besides as much as I can remember the archaeology was down deep enough to be preserved even from ploughing.

But I of course take your point! As I said preservation is a complex issue, but that doesn't make it less worthy

As I understand it farmers are immune from all legislations, due to knowing better than anyone else and having lots of legal back up. They seem to feel that they can do what the hell they like and bugger the rest of the world!

I heard a scary story of an archaeologist working on a former wetland who had demonstrated that the ground was drying out due to excessive drainage by farmers. As soon as his report hit the fan a bunch of solicitors turned up at his door with some kinda legal thingy claiming he couldn't say that.
Jack Wrote:....the other 'practical' issues of actual depth during construction etc....

Would be nice if certain organisations could manage to include some level information in their excavation reports occasionally? I've done 2 jobs in the last year (and many over the last decade) which have been vastly handicapped by previous excavators (in the 1990s/2000s, not old stuff) neglecting to include such information - in one case several new trial trenches had to be put in just to find out what level the previous (major) unit had hit archaeology at, in another I've had to 'guesstimate' at what level significant medieval waterlogged urban deposits will be hit during a development while making mitigation proposals - not good!

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